Jun 11, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (6/11/2017)

Long days and mostly decent weather have made for some good fishing in the Gorge.

Classic Gorge Weather: Sunny with Pouring Rain

Deschutes trout fishing has been good/excellent and fairly steady.  There are an assortment of insects around and the fish have been happy to indulge in whatever is hatching.  They are still coming up to golden stone imitations and purple chubbies and I have heard of at least a couple anglers hitting the green drake hatch.  There should be some yellow sallies and pale evening duns showing themselves too.  As always, the standard nymphs (hare's ear, pheasant tail, possie bugger, copper John) are producing.

Local Legend Jim Greenleaf with a Deschutes Redside!

Stillwater trout fishing has also been very good locally.  The damsels and dragonflies have started hatching, especially on warm days, and the fish are eating the nymphs worked slowly around and over weed beds.  Chironomids, Callibaetis and buggers are also still in play.  As things warm up, look for the flying ants to start hatching around the higher elevation lakes as well.

Gabe found some hungry backwater smalljaws!

Bass fishing has been about the same as the last few weeks.  Fish are being caught, both in the Columbia and the John Day.  Many fish are thinking about spawning and are in shallow water.  I would suggest crawling a big bugger/leach or fishing a Clouser minnow quickly in the shallows.  There are should be a popper bite going in the next month as fish enter post spawn feeding.

A beauty of a mountain tiger musky!

We got out to one of the western WA reservoirs for some tiger musky fishing.  We saw a ton of fish and had most of them follow.  We had 5 good eats and landed one beauty.  5-10 inch flies on 10wts is the name of the game.  I really like the SA Sonar Titan WF10 full intermediate for 90% of the musky fishing.  You will want some type of wire bite tippet or leader, as these fish have serious chompers!  If you are looking for a new challenge on the fly, and have a boat or at least a buddy who does, you owe it to yourself to give it a try at least once.  There is a ton of info on the WDFW website.

Cody's Steelhead Report:

Enthralled by emerald green waters, and happy to be skating dries again.

Welp, it’s June and if you’re like me summer-run steel have been on your mind since… well, maybe they’re always on your mind! This could be attributed to a variety of reasons- A change of pace from tough winter fishing and rainy days, the finesse and presentation of scandi-style casting, fish willing to rise to the surface, t-shirts and sunnies, long days, etc. Though I’m sure once Thanksgiving hits I’ll be back on a winter-run mindset for thick bodied chrome and sea-lice covered fins. Ha! It really never really ever seem to end...

June 1st was the opener for the Klickitat River and it’s a quite a different start than last year. Numbers over Bonneville have been pretty slim so far, along with high and colored water to round it out as well. I’ve driven up the Klick a few times in the last two weeks to check on it, only to find flows ranging from 4100 cfs to its current level of 2700 cfs (for reference, average mean flow at this time of year is 2080 cfs.) What this means is that most of your favorite runs to swing flies are gonna be challenging to wade, and the few fish that are in the river won’t be too far out. If you do make it out and water clarity is decent, I’d focus on swinging shorter bits of line all the way into the bank. Wading staffs and boot studs will also ease getting into your favorite runs. As for predictions, it’s tough to say since we’ve got a fair amount of snow up high still and haven’t seen many super warm days yet.

Indeed predictions for this season’s Columbia run look to be on par with last year’s (unfortunately) and with some increased restrictions on seasons, this year will make it tougher for anglers. It’s important to remain mindful with our pressure on the fish we love with our handling and ethics. Monitor the water temps, revive and release fish quickly, keep them wet, etc. Opportunities are out there though with the Sandy and Clackamas still producing some good hatchery summer fish. However, I did get out and camp along a gem of a river in central Oregon for a couple nights. A few fish were seen as we chugged foamy dries, skated muddlers, and swung wets with floating lines but no fish to hand. Unfortunately, rains came a little earlier than expected. Transforming the river’s notoriously difficult wading in the already high water, to well, even more of a challenge. As is tradition, I filled my waders up once trying to get into a greasy tailout. It wasn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last...

High water but high hopes. Chelsey swings through the bucket.

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  541.386.6977

*Add us on Instagram for more fishy content! @gorgeflyshop

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

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